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McDonnell Corruption Trial: Parading the Evidence

Federal prosecutors in the Bob and Maureen McDonnell trial called as a witness one of the FBI investigators who sifted through the former first couple's email, text, and mobile records.

They tied those records to benefactor Jonnie Williams in the gift-giving scandal. But one political analyst who has been watching the trial believes what may be most damning—at least in the eyes of the jurors—were the gifts paraded before them Thursday.

While many jurors could only imagine rides in expensive cars, private plane excursions, and lavish meals afforded to the McDonnells by Williams, prosecutors provided evidence of Louis Vuitton and Oscar De La Renta goods, Ken Loch golf clubs, and much more.

Political analyst Bob Holsworth says this helps prosecutors paint a better visual of the McDonnells putting the office of the governor up for sale.

The defense argues that gifts to governors and their families were permitted AND legal for decades, and the timing of the McDonnells’ correspondence with Williams was circumstantial. They also say there's nothing tying the couple to anything illegal. It's that strategy defense attorneys are expected to use starting next week to win acquittals.

Tommie McNeil is a State Capitol reporter who has been covering Virginia and Virginia politics for more than a decade. He originally hails from Maryland, and also doubles as the evening anchor for 1140 WRVA in Richmond.
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